Charges dismissed against alleged bikies detained under Queensland’s anti-association laws
Charges against five alleged bikies detained under Queensland’s anti-association laws after being seen buying ice cream together have been dropped after police offered no evidence.
The men were arrested while on holiday in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast last year.
Bane Alajbegovic, Dario Halilovic, Kresmir Basic, Darren Haley and Daniel Lovett, from Dandenong in Victoria, were charged with being a participant in a criminal organisation and being knowingly present in public places with two or more people who are participants in a criminal organisation.
Their only sin, their only crime, was to buy an ice-cream in a public place – the great controversy here was whether it was going to be choc top or vanilla.Lawyer Bill Potts
But police offered no evidence against the men during the hearing at Southport Magistrates Court.
None of the men were in court for the hearing but outside court the solicitor for some of them, Bill Potts, said his clients spent three weeks in custody and taxpayers had paid about $500,000 for the case to be pursued.
“Their only sin, their only crime, was to buy an ice-cream in a public place – the great controversy here was whether it was going to be choc top or vanilla,” he said.
“There was no crime, there was no planned crime – all these people were doing was walking down a street and for two of them, sitting in a closed and locked hotel room when the police charged them with these offences.
“Quite frankly, it has been a political stunt right from the beginning to make the people feel safe, rather than give then the actuality of safeness.
“At the end of the day not one piece of evidence has been produced that could sustain this type of prosecution and they knew it right from the very beginning.”
Under Queensland’s anti-bikie laws, introduced by the former Liberal National Party government, it is illegal for three or more participants of a criminal organisation to gather in public.
No-one has been convicted under the laws.
New Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said in February the Labor Government would review the laws.
The special taskforce reviewing the laws is due to report to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in December.